03:46PM, Wednesday 08 February 2017
Plans to created a new and enlarged Nicholsons Centre car park have been boosted after The Royal Borough took full ownership of a neighbouring office block.
Central House, a 37,980 sq ft block which sits on top of the shopping centre, has been empty for five years and was formerly home to engineering firm Costain.
Its freehold was already owned by the council, but it had been unable to progress with any redevelopment due to an outstanding long-lease agreement.
The borough said the deal will make it easier to increase the capacity of the car park as part of the town’s regeneration.
It also announced London & Aberdeen, the developer responsible for the adjacent Landing project, has been appointed as the development manager for the site.
Cllr Jack Rankin, cabinet member for economic development and property, said: "It is fantastic that we have been able to acquire this key property as it sits right in the centre of some of the bold regeneration plans.
"Having full ownership of Central House opens up more possibilities for us to increase our parking capacity in the town centre which is a vital part of building a better Maidenhead for everyone."
Cllr Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for environmental services (including parking), said: "Parking is a key piece in the regeneration puzzle and although we are already investing in short-term measures this is an important step in providing enough spaces in the long-term.
"Now we own Central House and have a development manager we can move forward with our plans to create a larger, more modern car park at the Nicholsons Centre to ensure our residents and visitors will have easier access to our rejuvenated town centre."
Doug Higgins, chief executive at London & Aberdeen, said: "We hope that with our appointment it will help reduce the inevitable disruption as much as possible during the demolition and construction of a new car park in 2018 due to the potential to offer temporary car parking and contractor’s facilities opposite the site as a contribution, alongside the council’s commitment to provide further temporary car parking on a number of other sites during this period.
"It is essential that we maintain public access and parking during the construction period and that all parties can work smoothly together.
"We will help the council work up an appropriate design for the efficient delivery of this much-needed facility."
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